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Christians in the Muslim World

‘Don’t Call it a Coup d’État’

Interview with Fr. Milad Sidkhy Zakhary, the Catholic Institute of Religious Sciences, Cairo, by Maria Laura Conte

‘Don’t call it a coup d’état. It was not; what happened in Egypt was not a coup d’état. It is called such only if you allow yourself to be convinced by the propaganda of the Muslim Brothers who want through words, as well, to reduce the importance of what happened. But one need only think of the moment: how could the army have brought into the streets thirty-three million Egyptians, young people, old people, women and children? It can’t do that, it is not able to.

 

 

So if it was not the army, who was the protagonist?

 

 

The people. It was the people who acted and said ‘enough’. At the end of one year of the presidency of Morsi, the people decided: this President cannot govern for another day. And the people went into the streets to say that. In the history of the world such a massive demonstration had never been seen, and it took place specifically here, in Cairo.

 

It is those who want to perpetuate the power of Morsi, who gave all the important positions to the members of the Brotherhood – only they want to depict this event as a coup d’état, as an illegitimate act against a democratically elected President.

 

 

Indeed: was it not the people who voted for Morsi?

 

 

Yes, but the people changed their ideas. Because they saw that Morsi in a year had done nothing, really nothing for the good of the country. But everything for the self-interest of his people. His was a policy in favour of his friends, not of Egypt.

 

 

Can you give us some examples?

 

 

Think of electricity. With Morsi it was not supplied every day. Today it is, that is to say round the clock. How can you explain this? Because first of all Morsi had to guarantee it for his friends, the Palestinians in Gaza, while the Egyptian people suffered. This government did not do anything. The services are increasingly thin on the ground, jobs are in short supply. The people rebelled against this situation.

 

 

And now what can we expert?

 

 

Now we must look for the truth, against propaganda. There are groups connected with the Brothers who pay people to come to demonstrate in Cairo in defence of the President and try to use some of the media to give a false version of the facts. Al Jazeera, one of these, sent troops to take come false films, for example trying to make the pro-Morsi demonstrators look very numerous, with few opponents. But luckily there is Google Earth: one need only look using this system to realise the numbers involved. We cannot lie at this level, they are not photographs that can be falsified like those of the media. Further proof of the great malaise of recent days has also been the number of journalists who resigned from Al Jazeera: at least three heads resigned because they did not accept disinformation.

 

 

And the police have captured many foreigners, above all Palestinians and Syrians, who go around the country with weapons and explosives. Moving between Alessandria, Cairo and Gaza.

 

 

 

 

However the rebel front, the people who went into the streets, seems crushed by the army: does it have a clear political project to advance or just a proposal?

 

 

In the political project that was proclaimed by the head of the army and which envisages the cancellation of Morsi’s Constitution one can see an attempt to establish peace between the forces on the stage, to set Egypt back on track. This time they will bear in mind the errors that were committed after the revolution of 25 January. Now the situation is in the hands of a new ad interim government which, with people suggested by the rebels as well, should lead to the country to elections.

 

 

In this tumult what are the Christians doing?

 

 

The Christians could not have a worse President than Morsi. Over the next months we will see if the new Constitution can improve the condition of the Christians. The Christians are now playing an important role and are taking part with the people in the construction of the new Egypt. There are incidents, and Christians, too, are in danger, but in this they are like all the Egyptians because the Brothers are violent with everyone.

 

 

Do you feel that you are in danger?

 

 

You need courage to change society, fear is not enough.

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